Daniel: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us for today’s webinar and welcome to our Tuesday webinar series, Chiropractic Economics Webinar for Doctors of Chiropractic. I’m Daniel Sosnoski, Editor-In-Chief of Chiropractic Economics. Today’s webinar, the Leaky Microbiome, is sponsored by Systemic Formulas. And, as always, our program is being recorded and will be archived at Chiropractic Economics Website, www.chiroeco.com/webinar for one year. Our expert is onboard here today to speak with you, and when his presentation is complete, we will follow with a question and answer period.
You can submit questions throughout the presentation by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right side of your screen. We will do our very best to get to all of your questions. But if we ran out of time, we’ll forward the remaining questions to our expert and then notify you via email when the answers are posted on our website, chiroeco.com/webinar.
Our presenter today is Shayne Morris, PhD, who received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Utah in 1999 and has worked extensively in the supplement field for more than 15 years. He is here to help you understand how our diverse microbiome contributes to and controls genetic expression and cellular function.
Dr. Morris, thank you for taking the time to participate in our webinar and for sharing your expertise with holistic approaches to healing and helping our audience understand how they can implement recent findings in their practices. Before we get started, Dr. Morris, please give us a brief background on yourself and your work with biochemistry and supplements.
Dr. Morris: Yeah, great. Thanks for having me. This is a great topic and I hope everybody’s going to love it. My background actually goes back to the late 80s, which kind of dates me, but I started in the nutraceutical style industry then, but I also was heavily involved in what we call in microbiological/biochemical undergraduate degree at the time, and that’s really what lead me, of course, my love for bacteria started back then.
But, as most people know, most of us especially in our 40s, 50s, and 60s and so on, we used to think of bacteria as our enemy, and so most of the research was being done on antimicrobials, antibiotics, and so on and so forth, which again, it’s what brought me to this world. But I’m really glad I came because now we can change the paradigm as you’ll hear today. And that’s really what the message I hope to get is we can change our thinking about the microbes that live on us and among us.
Daniel: Very good. Now, Dr. Morris, would you like to begin our presentation?
Dr. Morris: Yes. So I call this talk The Leaky Microbiome. You’ll hear a term, and I hope not to jump back and forth, but I could also have called it Intestinal Permeability Microbiome. And so, I wanted to just be clear that there’s some language that we use and we use more common vernacular like “leaky” but it really stands for the concept of information traveling from the microbiological world into our tissues, and the information going from our tissues into the microbiological world. It’s really a dual nature traffic. It is a free way going both directions.
That’s critical for what we’re going to learn today. In the beginning, what we’re going to do is I’m going to look at…here’s an old model that I’ve made years ago because of my passion for health and this particular part of our healthcare paradigm, and that is the alternative complimentary medicine. And these -omics as many of you may have heard of, herbalomics is a word that I’ve created, but you’ve heard of epigenetics, nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics, Metagenomics, and genomics and so on, and all was born out of the human genome project.
Then we discovered that that wasn’t enough. So looking deeper and deeper we discovered all these other -omics and these -omics just mean our relationship of our genetic material to the world around us. For the most part, our health, we’ve worried about toxins and stressors and poor diet and all these things affect us through, sometimes genomics, sometimes metagenomics, and so on, but essentially what they do is they change the behavior of our cells and our cells then become either misbehaving to the level of a disease, to a level of a much more serious situation, where there’d be a normal disease stage, they’re cancerous, diabetes type 2, etc. That’s the world we’ve been living in, at least for the past decade, two decades of trying to get to the knowledge of the cell, and it’s also been my world.
But fortunately, within the last decade, we’ve been studying things called our microbiome, microbiota. Those are the organisms that live with us and among us and they help us adapt to our environment and they’ve always done that for us. So here I have defined what I showed you on that earlier slide where we have herbalomics, phytolomics, and how herbs influence genetic expression. Epigenetic is the control of genetic expressions through external factor. So for lack of a better description, all of us are genetically 99.9% identical.
However, how we turn genes on and off give us our hair color or skin color or eye color, [inaudible 00:05:43], our personality, our height, our…again, to a small degree, our weight or how we interact with our environment. It’s all done on the epigenetic side to give us our uniqueness. It’s how we turn genes on and off. In another way, you may have heard this term epigenetic is through methylation and non-methylation type science for many of you.
Nutrigenomics started, again, about a decade ago and it relates to our ability to understand how nutrients and our diet affect our genetic expression and cellular function. Then we got genomics at the very bottom. I’m going to skip over nutribiomes. Genomics, at the very bottom, that’s just our inherited genetic material from mom and dad. We get half from mom, half from dad, and that’s usually our blueprint to make us. But all these things I’ve just talked about above us really define who we become.
Now, let’s turn back to nutribiome. The nutribiomes are our diverse microbiological or microbiome. We’re not going to talk about this today, but there’s also a virome and a mycobiome or a fungal association. Today it’s just bacterial. But it’s how these microbiome organisms interact with us and how they can control our genetic expression, control our cellular metabolism, control how our body relates to the things we eat, to the herbs we take, to the stressors that we experience, to the babies that develop in women and the breastfeeding, and in everything.
So the brilliance here is this word, again, nutribiome is my word. I’ve created it just like I did herbalomics, in case you’re seeing this for the first time. But the nutribiome is how our microbiome relates to the nutritional side of what we do in our lives.
So that being said, here’s our objectives for today. We want to look at our holistic approach to wellness because it’s important that we do this, and I think that the holistic approach is the right approach. It can incorporate so many areas of medicine, from the alternative right to the mainstream. But really, you only want to take pieces of each of those and make a much better situation for your patients, which, of course, leads to personalized medicine, your personalized healing.
What is leaky gut? So we’re going to go over some…early on on this talk, we’re going to go over some detail, and at the end of the talk, you’ll realize that I’m giving you a gift so you don’t need to write as quickly on your slide. It’s good to take notes, but you’ll have an opportunity to keep some of these stuff. But I’m going to go over a lot of really nuts and bolts. And so if I go too fast, again, there’s time to review it afterwards. What is leaky gut? What is the microbiome, the microbiota? What are prebiotics, probiotics? And then how do we bring this all together?
So now we’ll take a look at this. I had in my slide earlier, I had the cell in the center and I had these other periphery type [inaudible 00:08:41]. What I’m telling you now is that our nutribiome is a more central player in our health and wellness. Conversely, it is a central player in our disease state as well. Now, that’s a pretty bold statement, however, modern looks at our nutribiome and our nutribiota, and the difference being biota is the organism, biome is the genetic material. I won’t go into a lot of reasons, but that’s just in case I jump back and forth. It’s central to our health and/or it’s critical in our disease states.
We know the major influence that it’s having on our bodies, our development, our immune system, in particular our GI tract immune system. Most people now know that the vast majority of your immune system lies in the gut area, the “gullet” is what we call it. And then we also know that it becomes a second brain. So all these other influences around the periphery, the herbalomics, probiotics, prebiotics, genomics, metagenomics, nutrigenomics and so on, epigenetics, these can now all be tied to our health through the nutribiome, which I coin as the microbiological component of all these -omics, so to speak.
And again, I’m creating some of these terminology, so if it’s first time you’ve heard it, you’ll hear it again if you ever hear me again. But my point is that this new terminology is really to be used to help us relate nutrition to the bacteria that live among us.
What kinds of bacteria live among us? Well, we call them symbiotes, commensal pathogens or pathobiomes. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later. It’s important that when you have a partner and the partner weighs as much as your brain in terms of mass, if you were to collect all the bacteria that live on us and in us, it weighs about the same mass as your brain. So it’s an organ. It is a natural organ that functions to keep you healthy. And if it’s not functioning in a term called dysbiosis, it’s going to make you sick.
But there’s a lot of influences that we have to look at, the terrain and the toxins. Terrain being where it lives: the mouth, the throat, the stomach, the small intestines, large intestines, skin. These are all what we call terrain. And the terrain influences…that’s you influencing the bacteria or the microbiota and vice versa. So terrain is an important concept today.
Prebiotics. Some of the things you eat, the probiotics or the bacteria convert into metabolites. The metabolites are a critical feature of our relationship with bacteria. And, of course, we’re going to talk more about colonization. There are many things we do in our lives where we expose ourselves to bacteria but they don’t actually colonize us. They are just transients, taking a small vacation through your GI tract, next stop along the way, they might visit. So many of our exposure to the world is temporary, as opposed to a permanent resident of us, a commensal. So we’ll get there, too.
So why is it important to know some of these things I’m telling you? Well, it’s important because when we finished the genome project, it was really depressing to be honest with you, for those of us in the world of microbiology and science and how much we had hoped to learn from knowing our genes, because what it turns out the human body only has 23,000 genes. The various plants have 33,000 genes. So, if you were to compare us, our complexity to something a lot more simple, we actually would fail in terms of our genetic content. We wouldn’t score as highly, so to speak, of our complexity.
So that’s not really who we are, is it? And if you take our bacteria, to the right here, and look at what it means to have all these bacteria among us, they comprise another 3.3 million genes. We have access to those genes. So when you eat something or exposed to something or interrelate with your immune system to this bacteria in your intestinal tract, these genes either benefit you or harm you, depending on what bacteria you harbor. In fact, so much so that when we take and raise sterile animals, germ-free animals, we loose all those 3.3 million genes, and as a mammal, we suffer traumatically.
I mean, it’s night and day. Of course, we do it all the time for research studies, but this whole hygiene hypothesis of wanting to kill everything over the last 150, 200 years, is not a good hypothesis. It’s not a good idea. Do we still need to be cognizant of pathogens? Yes. And then avoiding viral and bacterial infection. We have known acute infections, absolutely. However, we’ve gone way too far in our use of antibiotics and other compounds to try to eliminate bacteria because at the same time, we are killing all of our good bacteria who were, beforehand, before you kill them, they were offering you up 3.3 million genes to help you do what you needed to do on a daily basis.
From the time you were in utero to the time that you died, these guys were helping us out and will help us out. Showing you this little bit of slide, picking up the pace a little. You can see that there’s different amounts of cells: stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, proximal and transverse. There are different varieties of organisms and they live at different counts. And that’s just important to know as we move into the probiotic world.
So what’s the physiology of that process? So here’s the detail of an intestinal wall. You can see that these are cells stacked up, facing upwards. On the slide is our small intestine as the food would migrate along the path. You can see that your body has, on the back side of these or on the bottom side, is your blood, and you can communicate via these cells, these intestinal cells in the inner lumen. They harbor what you want to consider is good bacteria. But other bad bacteria come through.
Here’s where our communication begins. There are things that happen in the intestines, small and large, from the bacteria. These metabolites start to interact with signals in these cells, and they can even further transit into the bloodstream. Immune cells transit out into your lumen and start to interact with the bacteria. This happens early on in life, to set the stage of, “These are friend, these are foe. These, I need to raise an alarm and create an immune response. These, I do not.”
And then, of course, when we confuse that system, we end up in a situation of inflammation. So this little piece we’re looking at right now is critical to establish and re-establish and continue to establish throughout our lifetimes, and we can use various tools to do it. But one of the things that can disrupt this system, of course, is the overuse of antibiotics. I can’t really tell you how much that’s important, especially in the current research.
I mentioned this earlier as well, the gut-brain axis. So we have the vagal nerve, and the vagal nerve goes from your brain, central brain, by the way, all the way to and lines the GI tract. That nerve is the second largest bundle of nerves to the spinal cord and communicates regularly with the brain to the gut. So it’s literally our second brain, even though many people tell jokes, claim something else is a second brain. But this truly is the second brain and it’s a powerful brain. It controls a lot of hormones. It controls the immune system.
Your brain knows what’s going on in your gut all the time via the vagal nerve. It knows what it’s sensing, whether it’s sensing issues, pathogens, metabolite reduction or increasing, and so on. How you know that is all these weird sensations you have when things go awry in the stomach. That’s where the nausea, the response to throw up, and all these things happen so quickly so your brain is saying, “I have been alerted by my cells and immune system who has told my vagus nerve who has told my brain, ‘Evacuate my contents.'”
That’s just a simple analogy to all the complexities that’s going on between the brain and the gut. So that being said, I’m hoping to set the stage as we move forward to some more detail. And again, I love detail. I am a scientist first and I work on, of course, supplements and clinical work secondarily so I give you more than you need. But let’s look at some of the breakdown here as to how they interact because the question is, “Do the microorganisms actually change the way our body physiology work?” And the answer to that is absolutely.
They can change the way we metabolize food, they can affect obesity or thinness, they can affect serotonin levels, so depression, anxiety and much, much more. The production of different things throughout your body. So just looking at the intestine again. So again, we have, at the bottom of the slide, you have the intestinal lumen with all the bacteria. You can see the little drawings, cute little bacteria drawn on that side interacting with various endocrine cells and the enterocytes, we call them sometimes.
There’s so many different kinds of cells here. But you can see we have the nerve cells here in pink and yellow, you have a different type of nerve. These are connected directly to your intestinal wall, and they’re sensing what’s going on in there 24/7 your entire lifetime. You have on your left, these purple cells, these are your beta cells, the chondrocytes. You even have macrophage and so on. These cells are also sensing what’s going on in your world there.
And then finally you have this other endocrine cells that exists in your lumen, the intestinal lumen, that sense and create 5-HT, which, of course, is serotonin, and that can then of course communicate to the brain. Each one of these communicates to the brain. You can see they communicate through various nervous centers in the brain: hippocampus, amygdala, olfactory, septum, mammillary body, stria, thalamus, fornix, and so on.
So we certainly are starting to really unravel this relationship between the microbiota and the things they do in our own cells. I know I mentioned here, and I’ll mention this more as we go, in the beginning, we started studying this, we looked at it as a sensing mechanism. Your body was just simply reaching out and seeing, “Okay, turning on the flashlight and noticing visually that there’s bacteria out there, some are good, some are bad. Let met tell the brain that things are okay.” Once the bad one starts to get out of control, the brain will be alerted. It’s way more complex than that.
The DNA and the RNA that are found in bacteria are now finding their way into the body. The DNA and the RNA that our body has is finding its way into the bacteria and communicating. So there’s a much more intimate communication happening between the bacteria and the cells in our body. Now, recently, in fact, really recently we discovered that there are bacteria that are now circulating throughout the body, and many of these bacteria are normal probiotic type bacteria. They’re found in our intestinal tract, but now we’re finding them in our brain, or finding them in our liver, in our heart, and they’re not eliciting an immune response because the body has seen them as a friend.
Now we can ask the question, “What are they doing there? How did they get there?” Likewise, we now know that in utero, the placenta is lined with bacteria. There’s mounting evidence that in utero babies are also full of bacteria, especially probiotic bacteria, before they’re born. And we know that the breast milk contains bacteria. So it isn’t just milk, there’s also probiotics found within the breast tissue as women are breastfeeding.
So, as we look deeper, we’re actually finding there’s a much more intimate relationship. Now, how does this…? What is the impact that this is going to have? This is going to continue to change the way we think about probiotics and probiotics in the way we treat our body related to bacteria. But I want to mention again on this who’s writing because we can now change behavior of animals. We haven’t done this in humans, but in mice, when you change the bacteria that are found in your intestinal tract to what we consider pathobiomes or bacteria that don’t help produce serotonin, don’t help you change 5-HT into serotonin, we actually create anxiety and depression in these mice.
When you then give them bacteria from a happy mouse, or a mouse that is non-anxiety and does produce serotonin and also doing is changing the bacteria, those mice become happy again, for lack of a better term. Just by changing the bacteria, we are changing the behavior of mice. That’s where this is headed. The links are becoming really amazing, and we have an ability in our world to affect this with patients because this is a natural process.
Okay, so more cross talk. This is a slide I hope you come back to many, many times over the post talk because this slide tells a lot of our story that I just mentioned to you verbally. So you have on the bottom part of the slide the interior of the intestine. The exterior is where all the associations of bacteria happen. You can see there’s a layer of mucin, that’s the mucus layer that tends to form in our intestines, and it has a lot of functions to protect the bacteria, to protect your cells, to help things migrate slowly, and it feeds various good bacteria. There’s a lot of reasons for it, your body produces it. And if you don’t produce good mucin, you tend to run into trouble.
In fact, the people that carry H. pylori with good mucin production have no problems in their stomach with H. pylori. People that lack that production allow H. pylori to reach the intestinal, or in this case, the gastro wall, and create a problem, ulcers. But otherwise, that bacteria can live with you in a non-pathogenic way. And we know that mucin is one of those things that helps that happen.
And there are bacteria that help maintain the mucin. So there’s all these really fun relationships that we are now considering. And in the end of my talk, you’ll realize how we can start to take advantage of some of these. But if you look through this luminal slide, you can see we have goblet cells. We have, again, more of these chondrocytes and these immune cells. We have innate immunity. We have all these different things going on and now imagine this, of cours,e throughout the large surface area of the body. So it’s a lot of cross talk happening.
Dysfunction. So, the beginning of my talk is leaky. What is dysfunction? These purple cells are examples of your intestinal wall. And the process we call leaky gut can happen in two ways. On the left, we call it transcellular penetration of antigens. That’s where it happens through the cell. Something’s happening to the cell, the cell isn’t functioning properly, and you’re transiting particles and bacteria and things that shouldn’t be transiting from the intestine into the bloodstream. And, of course, when we do that, we’re going to create a lot of havoc from the immune system because it doesn’t have an opportunity to control friend and foe.
The second example of this are the paracellular penetration of antigens. By the way, the second one is the more common. And this is what we hear or refer to as leaky gut for the most part. And the junctions you see in black, red, blue, and green, these are proteins, claudin proteins. These are what keep the cells together. These are the zippers that hold those really tightly and don’t allow for particles and bacteria and viral and all these other things, big large peptides to transit into our bloodstream unless they’re broken.
And I’ll tell you, I won’t spend a lot of time today, but one of the things we now know about this process is a protein called zonulin, which opens peptide junctions in the body. And zonulin can be triggered by gliadins and glutenins, which are a family of proteins that come from gluten. We’ve actually referred to it gluten from grains. So that’s why grains can sometimes be real problematic for certain patients, because if this persist and they don’t get broken down by healthy bacteria that exist in their healthy lumen, these people might trigger what’s called intestinal barrier opening, and then they suffer much more problematic situation.
And, of course celiacs know that all too well, and some people with gluten-sensitivity. That’s what’s happening, is that it triggers zonulin, which opens up these junctions, which allow its way too much into the bloodstream and causes the inflammation response. So that’s our trick to the opening of the junctions. So zonulin, gliadins, glutenins. Dysbiosis and pathogens also can trigger this. Stress is known to trigger it. Alcohol, drugs, antacids, antibiotics. In particular, antacids, they tend to affect parietal cells, and this exacerbates.
So these toxins, these alcohol, drugs, NSAIDs, they all exacerbate this problem of permeability. And then some people have their genetic predisposition and, of course, in the familial celiac, that’s clear. There may be others. But this slide shows you that we are at risk with a lot of things in our environment that we need to pay particular attention to, especially if there’s been antibiotic usage throughout the young and old, especially in the young. It can persist for years, decades into our age, and that’s critical.
So our symptoms. This list I’ve only captured maybe 9 or 10 here. It’s much greater than this. You got brain fog, inflammation, gas, bloating, intolerance, allergies, skin rash, diarrhea, lethargy, headache, and the list goes on and on when you’re dealing with permeability because you’re exposing your body to so much and you’re on high inflammatory response 24/7. It’s not a good situation, and we want to deal with it, no doubt.
So if we’re addressing it via the nutribiome, the nutribiome is made up, of course, organisms and the prebiotics that feed them. So we care about the organisms, how to get them to stick around. Why do some probiotics work for some patients and not others? Why do probiotics sometimes cause other symptoms? And then why do we want to approach…? What’s our approach for dysbiosis? Dysbiosis is the lack of good organisms and the overcoming of bad ones.
So we’ll keep going through this. I’m going to give you just a few quick slides on. These are just definition slides so you don’t need to spend much time. Symbionts are the ones that really help us out. Commensal, they can help, but they’re there so they might just be simple helpers to complex helpers like symbionts. Pathobionts, of course, are just the pathogens that we deal with, but they can hang out for a long time unless there’s an opportunity. And then you’ve got the opportunistic pathogens, which are your E. coli infections, Staph, Salmonella, and those things. This is just language that we need to learn.
Probiotic are defined as live organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to us, to the host. And this works for animals as well. How to use probiotics? So the normal gut flora are presented by main phyla. We’ve got Bacteroides, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria. You won’t have to know these things, but what I want to point out is most probiotics, in fact the vast majority fall into the Firmicutes category. So all your Lactobacillus, your Bifidobacteria and so on, they all exist in the Firmicutes.
So we’re addressing only one area of our probiotic nature using the current probiotics that we can have access to via supplements. I want to just mention here because I won’t get a chance later that organic food using other ferments, kefirs, and so on can help increase your chances of diversity. So I highly encourage that. But there are ways still to take advantage of probiotics. And then further more, as we go along, prebiotics is what feed probiotics. They are also going to be critical.
Here’s a list of some of the more common, commercially available probiotics. And as we rediscover our GI, these are not bad things. Although we’re limited to a number of things we can eat as a probiotic, we still have access to these, and these things can be very beneficial to many of our patients. And this is just a list. So you can see they fall again into the Firmicutes. They’re Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium type species for the most part, and they live in various parts of your GI tract.
So how do we improve probiotic efficacy to outcompete our pathogens? How do we do that? Well, here’s your first clinical note, so you need to write this down. When we grow bacteria in a commercial environment and we grow these great probiotics, and I’m growing actually different ones in research right now under controlled conditions, we want to make them safe and effective as growers of probiotics. And so, you do that. You grow them and you keep growing them until you have enough to actually put in a capsule.
In the process, you’re really making them more of a gentle probiotic. So we lose some of their ability to compete, which is why we need to, and you probably experience this in your own clinics. This is why you need to have reasonably high doses depending on the person, how sensitive they are to it, and they have to have multiple passages. You need to keep them on the probiotics, because the first few times they take them, even the first 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, those probiotics might not be able to stick around in the gut. That’s because they’re not competitive yet.
So the more you expose your probiotics to human, the more competition, or they re-achieve their competitive edge, and that’s critical. It’s no different than anything else if you go into…if we go into the Amazon. Our first few days are going to be pretty tricky there because we don’t know how to do things, but as soon as we’re there for a while, we know how to make fire, we know how to forage food and so on. That’s the same thing with these bacteria. They have to have a chance. So by repeated passages and relatively high doses, you’re giving these guys a chance.
And by changing the terrain, how do we do that? So this is a cross-section of the lumen, of course. You want to change your terrain by changing what shall we eat. And I know you hear this a lot, but it’s critical. High fat diet puts you at high risk. Strictly high fat, high sugar, those two puts you at a higher risk for not only intestinal permeability, but it changes the terrain in such a way that your bacteria change. The microbiota adapt to those kinds of nutrients and you start to create this segregation where you only favor bacteria that love fat and sugar, and even fungi.
And when you do that, you lose bacteria that have more diversity. You lose some of those 3.3 million genes you need, and we know that’s true. So, very diverse diet is my first request for these patients. And you have to do it slowly. Some things can cause reactions, so you introduce fiber which is a prebiotic, you introduce supplements, which can be prebiotics, slowly but stay on it. The first week might be terrible, bloating, gassing. Make adjustments, change the fiber, change the type of supplement you’re using, which contain plant materials, and keep modifying until you establish this terrain.
And over a course of 30 days, you should really be able to notice a difference. And those are the use of probiotics. I’ve researched in our own company. We have about a 70% success rate using just the probiotics that are available in the world. Right now, you can get about the 70% effect from them, anecdotal is most of it, but the patients started reporting, or our doctors are reporting, “Hey, this is improving their life.” It’s only at 70%, there’s still 30% that don’t respond to what we can currently give them. That’s why we’re looking at the terrain and what they eat and how they behave.
So this new graphic, I just want to point out that things like inulin, FOS, Bioferrin, Zinc, Genistein, which are all plant-based materials, now affect our probiotic/prebiotic world. They become the nutrients that our bacteria play with and change and modify and turn them into things that you can use. It changes your endocrine system, it changes your brain, the way you respond, your levels of serotonin, dopamine, the way you methylate, the way you don’t methylate. I mean, all these things I’m telling you are happening because of your bacteria, not just because of your own cells.
And what you give your bacteria, just like what you give you, so when you eat, you now are eating for. Men and women alike are now eating for you and your little baby bacteria. For the rest of your life on this planet, you need to eat for both people, you as your cells, and you as your bacterial cells. Diversity, plant, prebiotic diversity, it will change your terrain. And then as you use probiotics, and as we come out with more and more probiotics, which we are doing, you will start having more tools to change the health of people much more dramatically.
All right. So what is a terrain? It is just what I said. It’s your lumen, it’s your intestinal secretions, it’s your polysaccharides, and it’s your metabolites. Those are all things that we can control with our diet and the interaction between the probiotics and our cells. So dietary influences. I mentioned a high fat diet. That stimulates Bifidobacteria. Well, you may not want to do that in some people. High sugar stimulates Clostridium or Enterococcus growth.
Carb-restricted increases Bacteroides or Bifidobacterium. Having complex carbs increase their Mycobacterium or Bifidobacteria. Refined sugar increases C. difficile, and for most of you out on this, all you need to know is that C. difficile is a very dangerous organism, and you do not want to increase that. So refined sugars, we all know better. We used to think it’s for us, but it’s also for our bugs we need to take care of. High omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids increase Firmicutes and Proteobacteria.
This is a short list of an example of how everything we do dramatically affect our microbiota, microbiome, which will have consequences for us. And what we do know is the younger patients you can get to and change their diet, especially getting away from high bad fats and high carb, you set their microbiota for a much healthier, long-term situation. And then, of course, we can use various plants to change this. We want to have complex carbs, and not all these are bad, by the way. We want complex carbs in our diet. We definitely want some polyunsaturated fatty acids. We want to encourage the growth but it’s all balanced.
Dysbiosis is the opposite of balance. I told you this early. There is a slide that you can actually refer to. But it’s when you unbalanced by diet and stress and various exposures to toxins, let’s say in nature like antibiotics, for example. You can cause your bacteria to rearrange in a way that you now have more of one kind of bacteria, not another, when you really need it, more Bacteroides as opposed to Firmicutes.
For example, there is an optimal ratio of Bacteroides to Firmicutes, and if you shift that ratio by eating a lot of processed sugars and stuff to the Firmicutes, and omega-6s, that actually creates a scenario where those people become more obese because the bacteria they harbor are able to metabolize these things and create a lot more adipose tissue than people that have a balanced Bacteroides/Firmicutes balance.
It’s a project that we’re personally working on in my research to help create a better balance with the Bacteroides as opposed to Firmicutes. So it’s just something to consider. I know I’m giving you lots of information. This will be the first of many hopefully exposures you have to this topic. What’s your next tool? Go to plant polysaccharides. When you say the word, “oligosaccharide,” you can see I’ve written here over and over again in different ways. If it’s a woman nursing, it’s milk oligosaccharide, that is a brilliant thing for an infant. I recommend it 100% of the time.
Arabino, fructo, mannan, iso, and galacto, you can look each of this up. They all exist in different plants, in beets, in carrots, in your garlics, in your broccoli. So again, I’m listing plants that we all know of. And sometimes we can concentrate these and put them in products like capsules. So you can also look for products that contain these compounds because they’re really good for balancing your microbiome in the intestine.
So diet and potentially supplementation for people that really need to get at these galacto, isomalt, mannan, and so on. Fructo-oligosaccharides, you guys know that as inulin or chicory root and so on. It’s also found in garlic. So let’s keep going. We also have an opportunity to look at turmeric, rosemary, garlic, asparagus, sprouts, some of these other ones. These are all things that contribute to a healthy microbiome unless you know your patient has pushed their microbiome with any given one of these too far, for example, grains or yeast and so on.
Some people can’t handle garlic until they fix their gut. That all gives you tools. These are all tools, we’re going to do this. The nutribiome effects. I’m not going to read these all to you, but each one of these that I’ve listed for you enhances the growth of beneficial bacteria, whether it’d be Lion’s Mane, which is a mushroom, turmeric, which is, of course, a root out of India. Butyrate, acetate, these are all small fatty acids you can get from things like coconut oil. These are things that you have as tools in your tool belt to start managing your microbiome.
So the symptoms, again, for dysbiosis, they’re just like the symptoms for leaky gut. You have all these same problems. So dysbiosis and leaky gut are hand-in-hand issues. They tend to run together in most circles. So if you’re dealing with one, please deal with the other. So as you’re improving their diet, as you’re improving their probiotic intake, you’re also…we need to look at improving their tight junctions through dietary measures and through natural product measures.
There are various herbs and things that help with the tight junctions, as well as with the dysbiosis. So you really do have some tools out there to deal with both dysbiosis and tight junctions simultaneously. Patient outcomes. So you want to modulate probiotics. I mentioned how to do that. One, look at the colony-forming unit, that’s CFU, because we have about 20, anywhere from between 20 and 29 types of bacteria you can buy. And you can modulate those through one of your protocols that you use, and then you can modulate the amount that someone’s getting based on their response to the first round of probiotic intake.
You can modulate the prebiotics. You can take more diverse plants in their diet and in their supplementation to see how they respond. Again, if someone is called the FODMAPs, they don’t like inulin so you need to go to the galacto-oligosaccharide, which would be found in beets. You need to go to the non-hydrolyzable starches and things that encourage the growth of organisms that can then start to metabolize things like garlic.
And you can actually reverse lactose intolerance. You can reverse fructo intolerance. Both of those conditions can be reversed by modulating both the probiotics and the prebiotics in your patients. Clear data indication can reverse both those. That’s just the beginning. It’s the tip of the iceberg for what we can do. Be consistent, be patient. It takes time. And then use other commensals/non-commensals when you’re doing this, and that’s just fermented foods. And for really sensitive people, use all of this with enzymes.
The enzymes can help break down stubborn type proteins and carbohydrates and the things that both the bacteria and the body can use. And it really just reduces the stress on the GI tract if someone has really damaged it over the years because it’s going to take you time to get them back out of that situation. So, can we create a competitive advantage? Yeah, we can. So with these consistencies, both probiotic, prebiotic, behavioral, I don’t have time for that today but your brain speaks to your gut.
So, if the brain is out of whack, if they’re depressed and anxiety-ridden, stressed, your job is stressful, you’re in a bad place personally, just like we know the gut changes the brain, the brain can change the gut. You’ve got to work both brain up and brain down behavior to make your protocols really work. So our new paradigm is this. We have this wonderful ability now to combine our prebiotics and our probiotics, and our behavior and our diet both prebiotic and probiotic. So the great news here is you’ve got food that contains prebiotics and probiotics, and you have supplements you can get access to that contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
And we know that in the process of doing that, you can reverse some of the damage and some of the long-term permeability dysbiosis that exist in GI tracts. And honestly looking at the data, the obesity data, the type 2 diabetic data, by the way those are both outcomes for everything we’ve talked about today. There are now causal links between the bacteria in your gut and the dysbiosis of those bacteria and type II diabetes, and obesity and the way you metabolize fat and high cholesterol.
These are all things that are linked to the bacteria because when you change bacteria in animals, you change those phenotypes. You make these mice better. They are no longer diabetic, they’re no longer dyslipidemic. They’re no longer obese. They change. You have an opportunity to do this through our prebiotics, our probiotics, and our diet, which feeds both prebiotically and probiotically. And you’ll see the tight junctions change. You’ll see the bacteria change. You’ll notice the difference in the GI tract.
We know through these studies that the link between these are so critical, and change them on your end as clinicians is probably one of the most powerful tools you’ll have for things like chronic inflammation that underlies every chronic issue that I’ve related to in this entire talk. Our microbiota now is our friend that we take care of just like we would a baby, and that’s critical. This slide is just the end point of how much relationship we have through all these different cells and it’s pretty amazing.
I could go on and on about the different science that we know about, our stem cells in the gut and our paneth cells, our Goblet cells, and how the RNA transfers back and forth. And I know I’m talking really scientific, but it is an exciting, exciting piece that I hope to keep bringing you and I hope I haven’t given you too much to digest but I will summarize it.
So, we’ve known for a long time that we’ve taken a bad road with western diet. The abuse of sugar, literally the abuse of sugar and some fats, trans fats and fats and fast food, just the whole processing food. That has taken a huge toll on our bodies, a huge toll. And what we don’t know is that the microbiome tries to adapt as quickly as you do but it will not serve you well once you’ve abandoned it. And the younger you can get to your patients, the better.
Studies on children are clear. Overuse of antibiotics on the microbiota of children is detrimental for lifelong..it’s followed people now for over a decade and it’s terrible. We have to stop it when they’re young, but you can still stop it as an older client as well. But the young have the best chance of redoing it and it can be past from mother to daughter. So the microbiota passes from mom to daughter, so obese mothers have a greater significant microbiota that contributes to obese children and that’s another place that we can really address this.
And then we know, there’s things that we’re doing from our drug intake that our microbiota contributes negatively, too, whether it’d be they change our drugs and get them reabsorbed, they can allow cholesterol to be reabsorbed, they can change the way our antimicrobials favor bad bugs versus good. So we have to really think about our drugs as we’re moving forward, although you can’t necessarily change that for a lot of your patients. It’s something you can certainly talk to them about.
This is brief. Most of you are aware of this, but if you do practice functional medicine, you have options to really look at types of things that are going on in the body. That’s a stress test or fecal test to look at microbial dysbiosis. There is genomic test you can do, uBiome, Second Genome or Zymo. They all do test on stool mostly. You can do skin and mouth but they can tell you what your bacterial microbiome looks like. It can tell you what you’re made up of. Do you have a lot of the Bacteroides or the Firmicutes?
They can give you an idea if you want to go through a really difficult case and you need more data. There are tools for you. Intestinal permeability, of course, there’s the sugar test and antibody test. All of these for functional people certainly it can help you steer your patients in the right direction. And before I wrap up, I just want to thank everybody, and if you want anymore information in the slides, which you will likely need because I tend to offer a lot of information at once, you just email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will provide you with these slides. And other than that, I thank you all.
Daniel: Well, very good. Thank you, Dr. Morris. This has been extremely informative, and you took us very deep into the science. That was certainly eye-opening for me and I’m sure it was for our audience as well. We do have a couple of questions. I think we just have time for one. “I would like to know how the microbiota influence human genetics?”
Dr. Morris: It’s a great question, and I’m glad you asked it because if I’d gone into it earlier I would have taken too much time of my talk.
Daniel: What happens now? How do we know?
Dr. Morris: What we know is that we now are seeing copies of RNA from our body, we call them micro-RNAs, being dumped into the intestinal’s lumen and going into the bacteria and influencing the way bacteria then create products that transit back into the human organism. That’s number one. So, we are actually talking to bacteria, telling them what to do using RNA. So our genetics sends a piece of genetics out into the bacteria telling them how to behave.
Secondly, they send various pieces of themselves, whether it’d be DNA and/or small molecules, into our system and they can turn genes on and off. For example, we know a bacteria that produce things like acyl groups, acetyl [SP] acids. And that when you have them in high concentrations, these bacteria in your gut, they actually turn genes on and off through methylation and acetylation. That’s been shown now. They’ve shown it. Your bacteria can turn your genes on and off inside your body.
So they have these little things they can send in, these little compounds, the little chemicals they send into your bloodstream that can turn genes on and off in your tissue. So that’s pretty amazing when we think of…we used to think of methylation as strictly a B-12 folate process. It turns out it isn’t. It is now part of what the bacteria can do by sending messages into your body that can turn genes on and off.
Daniel: Very good. And we are reporting on epigenetics in Chiropractic Economics, and that’s a story that we will continue to explore, and I hope that you’ll be part of that discussion going forward. Well, thank you for giving us an opportunity to get a request of your slides. I’m sure people will definitely follow you up on that, and if they want to present this kind of information to their parents. Thank you very much, Dr. Morris. At this time we’d like to thank our sponsor, Systemic Formulas and Shayne Morris, for today’s webinar. And thank you everyone for attending.
Remember, this webinar, including our speaker’s PowerPoint presentation, is being recorded. And if we did not get to your question during the webinar, the questions we post to our expert and the answers posted shortly at chiroeco.com/webinar. We’ll alert you when that webinar is available. Thank you again everyone for attending and we look forward to seeing you next time. Have a great day.
Dr. Morris: Thank you.